Region: East Midlands

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: 1620's House & Garden at Donnington Le Heath, Manor Road, Coalville, Leicestershire LE67 2FW

Contact: 01455 290429

Website: http://www.doningtonleheath.org.uk/

Description

As a 700 year old stone built family home, the 1620s House and garden is a wonderful venue for creative educational experiences within a truly historical setting. Sessions led by costumed characters cover KS1 – 4 with links to history, science, citizenship, English and art. Our unique site is also available for teacher-led education sessions; educators can use the site for inspiration to deliver a programme of cross-curricular activities.

The costumed museum educators are in role from the moment the pupils arrive on site to when they leave the site.

This level of commitment to the interpretation of the stories enables to inspire the imagination of the children and enable them to open their minds and really experience what it would have been like to live and work in a house in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Due to the small size of the 1620s house, learning activities are encouraged outside normal opening hours, which gives a more personal and uninterrupted experience.

Do you have a video on YouTube or anywhere else that you would like to link to?
A virtual tour of the building can be seen on Google Maps https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Donington+le+Heath+Manor+House/@52.7100282,-1.3794742,3a,75y,200h,90t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1seHra0Jhxd0IAAAQvO6Ptsg!2e0!3e2!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DeHra0Jhxd0IAAAQvO6Ptsg%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dsearch.TACTILE.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D129%26h%3D106%26yaw%3D200.77538%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x4879e2b08cebc1f9:0x6bae792e8f7a773f!8m2!3d52.710044!4d-1.379642!6m1!1e1

Are you on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media and what are the links?
https://twitter.com/DoningtonLCC

https://www.facebook.com/DoningtonleHeath

Why you are you a great place for educational visits?

The 1620s House and Garden is unique in our area because the building is one of the oldest houses in Leicestershire, built in around 1290, and owned by the Digby family from the 15th Century.

The most famous Digby family member was Sir Everard Digby, who was hung, drawn and quartered for his part in the conspiracy to kidnap Princess Elizabeth from Coombe Abbey following the intended blowing up of King James and Parliament in the Gunpowder Plot (1605). Then go back in history some more - during the Wars of the Roses, the Digbys fought for the Lancastrians and lost four brothers at the Battle of Towton (1461). Although the house was technically owned by the Church, it was confiscated by the Yorkist King Edward IV. Sir John Digby, who fought for Henry Tudor in the Battle of Bosworth (1485), regained tenancy of the Manor. In 1536, after the dissolution of Ulverscroft Priory, which then owned the Manor House, Henry VIII sold the Manor House to the Digby family.

Everard Digby and the gunpowder plot are a key theme in the education programme as is the home life of a Catholic family in a Protestant society. Seasonal change and the breadth of domestic work is another major theme which we explore. The house is fully furnished as an early 17th century family home and the gardens are laid out and planted in period style and another unique feature of the house is that objects on display can be handled and used (with care) during the sessions, and by the general public, allowing a more immersive experience.

Do you have the LOtC Quality Badge or any other accreditation such as AALA?
The 1620s House and garden does not currently hold any learning awards or accreditation, but is an ACE accredited museum, has a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence and is a Visit England Quality Assured Visitor Attraction.

What does a typical educational visit include?
School visits typically run from 10am to 2.30pm and our current education programme includes the following:

STEP INSIDE THE MANOR
Summary: This session forms part of a local study which looks at significant historical events, people and places in their own locality. It looks at the life of a family, who lived in the manor house. The costumed character led session helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and the relationship between different groups. The aim is to equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically and weigh the evidence as well as to listen, understand and respond appropriately to others and to extend and follow their own ideas.
Suitable for: Key stage 2 (maximum 34 per group)
Cost: £9.00 per pupil
Themes: Laying the table, Household crafts, Upstairs & downstairs roles, Costume and games and Herbs and cooking
Curriculum links, History and English:
A local history study: a study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality
Maintain attention and participate actively staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments.
Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating and exploring ideas.

CHRISTMAS PAST
Summary: Within the authentically decorated rooms of the 700 year old house, pupils can explore how Christmas used to be celebrated for twelve whole days with many traditional pastimes, including mummers plays, music and dances. During this session the children will meet Mistress Carter and Mistress Digby as they ask the children to help them prepare the house and presents for this special occasion.
Suitable for: Key stage 1-2 (maximum 34 per group)
Cost: £9.00 per pupil
Themes: Celebrations & gifts, Food & feasting, Entertainment and pastimes, Christmas meanings and Homes Long Ago
Curriculum links, History and English:
A local history study: a study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality
Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally
Listen and respond appropriately to adults
and their peers
Ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations

IN THE SHADOW OF THE GUNPOWDER PLOT
Summary: The children are welcomed to the house by the servants of the wealthy, Catholic, Digby family. This session tells the story of the plot from the perspective of the Digby’s who hid their religious practices in a protestant country ruled by James I. Upstairs, Lady Digby shows the children all of her hidden objects and talks about her husband, who has a particular part to play in the plot to blow up parliament and King James. Downstairs the Housekeeper teaches the children about the kind of meals and preparations she would have made for the family and tells how barrels, like the ale butts in the buttery, played a significant part in the gunpowder plot.
Suitable for: Key stage 1-2 (maximum 34 per group)
Cost: £9.00 per pupil
Themes: Food preparations, The story of the plot, Religious intolerance, Gunpowder and Daily life long ago
Curriculum links, History and English:
A local history study: a study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality
Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally.
Listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
Ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations

We can also discuss providing more Tudor based sessions if required.

What group sizes do you cater for?
We cater for groups of 34 maximum due to the size of the house.

Do you provide projects, teacher’s packs, work sheets or any useful information?
We have a teacher pack which describes Leicestershire County Council’s education offer both at the 1620s House & Garden and Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre. Each pack outlines the programme listing the sessions; their content, costings, numbers, targeted keys stage, themes and national curriculum links.

Are you happy for children to take photos, video or audio?
There are no restrictions.

What is your process for booking pre arranged risk assessments?
Our risk assessment for all on-site sessions is available on the site’s website via the learning tab under ‘Educational Visits’ - http://www.doningtonleheath.org.uk/

Does your venue have an education officer?
Melissa Lewis, Heritage Learning Officer, Heritage Services, Leicestershire County Council, 0116 3052172
melissa.lewis@leics.gov.uk

What is the cost of the visit?
The costs are described above.
We only charge the pupils and not the adults.

Is specific clothing required for the trip?
We ask that the group, both children and adults, dress appropriately as most groups spend time outside as well as inside. Some of the downstairs rooms can reflect the temperature of the weather outside.

Do you have first aid on site or will the group need to bring a qualified first aider?
The schools are responsible for their own first aid and so they need to bring a first aider and a first aid box. There are trained staff and first aid boxes on site to deal with any emergencies.

Please list facilities available.
We can provide the following:
Heated Indoor lunch space and fair weather outside eating area.
Heated Indoor activity spaces and outside gardens.
General male and female toilets
One accessible toilet
Pre-made gift bags can be pre-booked
There is ample parking space for coaches.

What are your disabled facilities?
There are designated disabled parking spaces.
There are wheelchair accessible toilets onsite for visitors.
Access for visitors with physical disabilities is limited to the ground floor of the Manor House, the gardens and the barn. We are able to set up a video link between the great chamber upstairs and the kitchen if required.

What are your opening days and hours?
School opening times
Schools are welcome on site between Monday and Wednesday 10am to 3pm between April 1st and October 1st and from 10am -3pm on any day of the week from October 2nd to December 15th and from March 1st – 31st.

General opening hours
The 1620s House & Garden will be open Thursday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays, 10.30 am to 4.30 pm from April 1st to October 1st.

Do you have any testimonials from previous schools we can include?
Review from the 1620s House & Garden TripAdvisor Page

4/5 - "Very good hands on educational visit for school children" 2 days (8th October) ago Reviewed by Karen R
Although the Manor House was closed to the general public it was opened for a day's visit by a class of 8/9 years old. The day was packed with things for them to do and learn about this period in history. Helping to lay a table for the Lord and Lady of the Manor involved them understanding the class system of the time, the food and drink available, the great importance of salt and they had a giggle learning about their "reverences" (bowing and curtseying). They ground sugar in a pestle and mortar, made lavender bags (which they took home), used butter hands to make rounds of butter for the family, learned how to write with quill pens and ink, dressed up in period costume and learned the dances of the day. The housekeeper and cook, dressed in period costume and speaking in the language of the day were there to instruct the children in all of their duties and played their parts really well, Outside there is a grassed area for the children to let off steam and lunch can be eaten either in the Barn or at the picnic tables, depending on the weather. I hadn't been for two years and the recent refurbishment was very apparent. Lots of improvements, extra activities for the children, accessories which they were allowed to touch and extra furniture which made it feel more like a home rather than just a museum. If you want to take children somewhere where they can become immersed in the life of the 1620s, this is the place to visit. Well done to all concerned.

Is there anything else that you feel is important and want to include in your information?
The desired outcome for pupils of all ages is that they experience and learn from a house that was once a place of activity deep in the Leicestershire countryside. The ethos is very special, enabling visitors to touch the objects, explore the chests and dress up. Places like this are very rare and so should be shared with all learners no matter their background, culture or faith.


Age of Children / Pupils: Pre-school 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years College University

Type of Visit: Historic Buildings Historical Heritage Museums Parks and Gardens

Curriculum Topics Covered: History

Months Open: April May June July August September October


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